What the World Was Watching: WWF Wrestling Challenge – March 18, 1990

Tony Schiavone and Gorilla Monsoon do commentary for today’s show, which concludes the tapings in Tucson, Arizona.

The broadcast starts by re-airing Demolition’s squash from Prime Time Wrestling.

Lord Alfred Hayes’ Special Report segment replays the Hulk Hogan and Ultimate Warrior promos on Superstars.

Rick Martel (5-1) defeats Omar Atlas via submission to the Boston Crab at 1:30:

Koko B. Ware warns Martel that he is going to be left upside down at WrestleMania VI.  Atlas has a small offensive flurry, but he continues to get too frisky with the dropkicks.  After missing a second one, Atlas falls victim to a backbreaker and Boston Crab.

Sean Mooney introduces WrestleMania promos.  Earthquake and Jimmy Hart promise a national disaster for Hercules, who they argue will be a steppingstone for the Earthquake achieving bigger things in the WWF.  Also, Brutus Beefcake promises that Mr. Perfect will be in for a haircut at Skydome.

The Hart Foundation (4-0) defeat Mike Sharpe & the Black Knight when Bret Hart pins the Knight after the Hart Attack at 2:30:

In the split screen, the Foundation warn the Bolsheviks that they will destroy them at WrestleMania and repeat their challenge to the winner of the Colossal Connection-Demolition tag team championship match.  Monsoon implies that Boris Zhukov has become lazy due to him eating too much at buffet tables in recent weeks.  The Knight takes most of the punishment and after Jim Neidhart knocks Sharpe off the apron, the Foundation lay out the Knight with the Hart Attack to maintain their undefeated record.

Gene Okerlund interviews Randy Savage and Sensational Sherri.  Sherri says that she considers it her duty to drive Sapphire out of the WWF.  For his part, Savage says that after WrestleMania he will be known as “the American Dream.”

The Big Bossman (4-1) pins Black Bart after the Bossman Slam at 1:12:

The Bossman makes quick work of Bart, who struggles to get up for the Bossman’s finisher at the end of the match.  Afterward, the Bossman handcuffs Bart to the top rope and beats him with the nightstick.

More WrestleMania promos see Hacksaw Jim Duggan put over his ability to deal with Dino Bravo, Jimmy Hart, and Earthquake.  And WWF Tag Team Champions the Colossal Connection and Bobby Heenan say that they will not be embarrassed on pay-per-view by Demolition.

Okerlund does the WrestleMania VI Report.  Robert Goulet says that even though he is a headliner, he is happy to kick off the show this time because the WWF has lots of big names.  Steve Allen talks about how he looks forward to seeing if Earthquake has a lighter side.  Bad News Brown tells Roddy Piper that he is a spineless cockroach and is not a street fighter, while Piper says that Brown is stupid because a spineless cockroach does not have a spine.  Mr. Perfect and the Genius put over Perfect’s perfect record.  Ted DiBiase and Virgil say they will leave Jake Roberts with an empty bag after WrestleMania, while Roberts rebuts that he does not care as much about the Million Dollar Championship as much as taking a piece of DiBiase’s backside.  And Akeem tells the Big Bossman to bring the ball and chain to ringside so Akeem can use it against him at the end of their match.

The Orient Express (w/Mr. Fuji) (1-0) beat Jim Powers & Pez Whatley when Tanaka pins Whatley after a backslide-flying chop combination at 3:30:

Schiavone hypes this as the Express’ debut, despite the fact that they made their first appearance on the March 3 edition of Superstars.  A raspy Shawn Michaels does the Rockers promo in the split screen for WrestleMania, putting over the Express as Japan’s top tag team that Fuji has imported to try to take them out.  It is another poor outing for the Express, who bore fans by aimlessly beating down Whatley with strikes and doing no double team moves except for the finish, an awkward sequence where Tanaka traps Whatley in a backslide as Sato comes off the top rope with a chop.  Why the referee would not count Whatley down in the backslide is an open question, so the Express need a better finisher.

There is a last batch of WrestleMania promos.  The Bolsheviks argue that the Hart Foundation remind them of Mikhail Gorbachev, who they do not like.  They add that the Foundation will be their steppingstone to title contention.  Dusty Rhodes says that Randy Savage and Sensational Sherri hate the common people, so Rhodes will fight for them at WrestleMania.

Tune in next week to see Jake Roberts, Dino Bravo, Mr. Perfect, and Brutus Beefcake in action!  Also, Dusty Rhodes will be a guest on the Brother Love Show!

The Last Word:  Like the recent Superstars episode, this edition of Wrestling Challenge provided little outside of promo builds for WrestleMania.  On a positive note, promo time was given to the undercard matches like Koko B. Ware-Rick Martel, Hart Foundation-Bolsheviks, and Bad News Brown-Roddy Piper, so everyone is getting some level of exposure.  And the celebrities, especially Robert Goulet, seem excited to be a part of the event and that is never a bad thing.

Here is a sampling of the WWF’s house show cards for the week of March 12-18, 1990, courtesy of thehistoryofwwe.com:

Portland, Maine – Civic Center – March 16, 1990 (5,530):     Paul Roma beat Bob Bradley…Tito Santana defeated Pete Doherty…Earthquake beat Ronnie Garvin…The Bushwhackers beat the Bolsheviks…Hacksaw Jim Duggan defeated Earthquake via disqualification…The Big Bossman beat Rick Rude via disqualification.

Houston, Texas – The Summit – March 17, 1990:       Tugboat defeated Frenchy Martin…Hercules beat Black Bart…Koko B. Ware defeated the Brooklyn Brawler…Greg Valentine beat Bret Hart…Demolition beat WWF Tag Team Champions the Colossal Connection via disqualification…Dusty Rhodes defeated Randy Savage…Hacksaw Jim Duggan beat Mr. Perfect.

Boston, Massachusetts – Boston Garden – March 17, 1990 (7,500):    Paul Roma pinned Bob Bradley…Mark Young beat Pete Doherty…Tito Santana pinned Buddy Rose…Earthquake beat Ronnie Garvin…Hercules (substituting for Hacksaw Jim Duggan) & the Rockers defeated Mr. Fuji & the Powers of Pain…Jimmy Snuka defeated Bad News Brown via disqualification…The Ultimate Warrior & Jake Roberts beat Ted DiBiase & Akeem when the Warrior pinned Akeem with a splash.

Orlando, Florida – Orlando Arena – March 17, 1990 (8,300):  Al Perez pinned the Red Rooster…Hillbilly Jim defeated Frenchy Martin…Rick Martel defeated Brutus Beefcake…The Bushwhackers beat the Bolsheviks…Jim Neidhart beat Dino Bravo via disqualification…Hulk Hogan & the Big Bossman defeated Mr. Perfect & the Genius after Hogan pinned the Genius with a cradle after a big boot.

Calgary, Alberta, Canada – The Saddledome – March 18, 1990:        Akeem pinned Tito Santana after blocking a sunset flip with a sit-down splash…The Brooklyn Brawler beat the Red Rooster…Steve DiSalvo defeated Buddy Rose…Dusty Rhodes beat Randy Savage via count out…The Bushwhackers beat the Bolsheviks…Jake Roberts pinned Ted DiBiase.

Tampa, Florida – The SunDome – March 18, 1990:    Al Perez beat Koko B. Ware…Jim Neidhart defeated Bob Bradley…Hillbilly Jim beat Pez Whatley…Bret Hart defeated Greg Valentine…The Rockers beat the Powers of Pain via disqualification…Brutus Beefcake defeated Rick Rude via count out…Hulk Hogan & the Big Bossman defeated Mr. Perfect & the Genius.

Backstage News*:        Closed circuit sales in the United States for WrestleMania have been terrible, with most locations selling less than 150 tickets.  This will result in most places cancelling their showings.  The expansion of homes with pay-per-view access is seen as a reason.

*In talent relations news, Tony Schiavone will be leaving the WWF to go back to WCW after WrestleMania.  Schiavone cites the expense of living in Connecticut as a reason for his departure.  Upon his return to WCW Schiavone will be tasked with producing WCW’s syndicated television programs and commentating for WCW Worldwide.  Paul Diamond, who was Pat Tanaka’s tag team partner in the AWA, has been brought in as a backup for Akio Sato, who is already missing shows.  The Red Rooster will be leaving as soon as his contract expires.  Paul E. Dangerously recently received an announcer tryout but was not hired.

*Backstage news is courtesy of Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer for March 26.

Up Next:  Prime Time Wrestling for March 19!